bims-ginsta Biomed News
on Genome instability
Issue of 2023‒12‒10
seventeen papers selected by
Jinrong Hu, National University of Singapore

  1. Curr Biol. 2023 Dec 04. pii: S0960-9822(23)01446-X. [Epub ahead of print]33(23): R1231-R1234
      A new study uses Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to understand how cell size homeostasis emerges from stochastic individual cell behaviors within a population. The authors find that a simple power law model was a poor predictor of cell size regulation; rather, it is better explained by a modified threshold model.
  2. Nat Genet. 2023 Dec 04.
      Chromatin accessibility is a hallmark of active transcription and entails ATP-dependent nucleosome remodeling, which is carried out by complexes such as Brahma-associated factor (BAF). However, the mechanistic links between transcription, nucleosome remodeling and chromatin accessibility are unclear. Here, we used a chemical-genetic approach coupled with time-resolved chromatin profiling to dissect the interplay between RNA Polymerase II (RNAPII), BAF and DNA-sequence-specific transcription factors in mouse embryonic stem cells. We show that BAF dynamically unwraps and evicts nucleosomes at accessible chromatin regions, while RNAPII promoter-proximal pausing stabilizes BAF chromatin occupancy and enhances ATP-dependent nucleosome eviction by BAF. We find that although RNAPII and BAF dynamically probe both transcriptionally active and Polycomb-repressed genomic regions, pluripotency transcription factor chromatin binding confers locus specificity for productive chromatin remodeling and nucleosome eviction by BAF. Our study suggests a paradigm for how functional synergy between dynamically acting chromatin factors regulates locus-specific nucleosome organization and chromatin accessibility.
  3. Dev Cell. 2023 Nov 30. pii: S1534-5807(23)00581-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tissue homeostasis relies on rewiring of stem cell transcriptional programs into those of differentiated cells. Here, we investigate changes in chromatin occurring in a bipotent adult stem cells. Combining mapping of chromatin-associated factors with statistical modeling, we identify genome-wide transitions during differentiation in the adult Drosophila intestinal stem cell (ISC) lineage. Active, stem-cell-enriched genes transition to a repressive heterochromatin protein-1-enriched state more prominently in enteroendocrine cells (EEs) than in enterocytes (ECs), in which the histone H1-enriched Black state is preeminent. In contrast, terminal differentiation genes associated with metabolic functions follow a common path from a repressive, primed, histone H1-enriched Black state in ISCs to active chromatin states in EE and EC cells. Furthermore, we find that lineage priming has an important function in adult ISCs, and we identify histone H1 as a mediator of this process. These data define underlying principles of chromatin changes during adult multipotent stem cell differentiation.
    Keywords:  adult stem cells; chromatin; lineage differentiation; tissue homeostasis
  4. Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 Dec 04. pii: gkad1151. [Epub ahead of print]
      Progression through the mitotic and meiotic cell cycle is driven by fluctuations in the levels of cyclins, the regulatory subunits controlling the localization and activity of CDK1 kinases. Cyclin levels are regulated through a precise balance of synthesis and degradation. Here we demonstrate that the synthesis of Cyclin B1 during the oocyte meiotic cell cycle is defined by the selective translation of mRNA variants generated through alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA). Using gene editing in mice, we introduced mutations into the proximal and distal polyadenylation elements of the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the Ccnb1 mRNA. Through in vivo loss-of-function experiments, we demonstrate that the translation of mRNA with a short 3' UTR specifies Cyclin B1 protein levels that set the timing of meiotic re-entry. In contrast, translation directed by a long 3' UTR is necessary to direct Cyclin B1 protein accumulation during the MI/MII transition. These findings establish that the progression through the cell cycle is dependent on the selective translation of multiple mRNA variants generated by APA.
  5. J Cell Biol. 2024 Feb 05. pii: e202303082. [Epub ahead of print]223(2):
      Subcellular location and activation of Tank Binding Kinase 1 (TBK1) govern precise progression through mitosis. Either loss of activated TBK1 or its sequestration from the centrosomes causes errors in mitosis and growth defects. Yet, what regulates its recruitment and activation on the centrosomes is unknown. We identified that NAK-associated protein 1 (NAP1) is essential for mitosis, binding to and activating TBK1, which both localize to centrosomes. Loss of NAP1 causes several mitotic and cytokinetic defects due to inactivation of TBK1. Our quantitative phosphoproteomics identified numerous TBK1 substrates that are not only confined to the centrosomes but are also associated with microtubules. Substrate motifs analysis indicates that TBK1 acts upstream of other essential cell cycle kinases like Aurora and PAK kinases. We also identified NAP1 as a TBK1 substrate phosphorylating NAP1 at S318 to promote its degradation by the ubiquitin proteasomal system. These data uncover an important distinct function for the NAP1-TBK1 complex during cell division.
  6. Nature. 2023 Dec 06.
      Human limbs emerge during the fourth post-conception week as mesenchymal buds, which develop into fully formed limbs over the subsequent months1. This process is orchestrated by numerous temporally and spatially restricted gene expression programmes, making congenital alterations in phenotype common2. Decades of work with model organisms have defined the fundamental mechanisms underlying vertebrate limb development, but an in-depth characterization of this process in humans has yet to be performed. Here we detail human embryonic limb development across space and time using single-cell and spatial transcriptomics. We demonstrate extensive diversification of cells from a few multipotent progenitors to myriad differentiated cell states, including several novel cell populations. We uncover two waves of human muscle development, each characterized by different cell states regulated by separate gene expression programmes, and identify musculin (MSC) as a key transcriptional repressor maintaining muscle stem cell identity. Through assembly of multiple anatomically continuous spatial transcriptomic samples using VisiumStitcher, we map cells across a sagittal section of a whole fetal hindlimb. We reveal a clear anatomical segregation between genes linked to brachydactyly and polysyndactyly, and uncover transcriptionally and spatially distinct populations of the mesenchyme in the autopod. Finally, we perform single-cell RNA sequencing on mouse embryonic limbs to facilitate cross-species developmental comparison, finding substantial homology between the two species.
  7. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Dec 12. 120(50): e2316456120
      The ability of cells to move in a mechanically coupled, coordinated manner, referred to as collective cell migration, is central to many developmental, physiological, and pathophysiological processes. Limited understanding of how mechanical forces and biochemical regulation interact to affect coupling has been a major obstacle to unravelling the underlying mechanisms. Focusing on the linker protein vinculin, we use a suite of Förster resonance energy transfer-based biosensors to probe its mechanical functions and biochemical regulation, revealing a switch that toggles vinculin between loadable and unloadable states. Perturbation of the switch causes covarying changes in cell speed and coordination, suggesting alteration of the friction within the system. Molecular scale modelling reveals that increasing levels of loadable vinculin increases friction, due to engagement of self-stabilizing catch bonds. Together, this work reveals a regulatory switch for controlling cell coupling and describes a paradigm for relating biochemical regulation, altered mechanical properties, and changes in cell behaviors.
    Keywords:  cell–cell adhesion; collective cell migration; friction; mechanical coupling; molecular tension sensor
  8. Nat Commun. 2023 Dec 02. 14(1): 7991
      Mitochondria contain their own genetic information and a dedicated translation system to express it. The mitochondrial ribosome is assembled from mitochondrial-encoded RNA and nuclear-encoded ribosomal proteins. Assembly is coordinated in the mitochondrial matrix by biogenesis factors that transiently associate with the maturing particle. Here, we present a structural snapshot of a large mitoribosomal subunit assembly intermediate containing 7 biogenesis factors including the GTPases GTPBP7 and GTPBP10. Our structure illustrates how GTPBP10 aids the folding of the ribosomal RNA during the biogenesis process, how this process is related to bacterial ribosome biogenesis, and why mitochondria require two biogenesis factors in contrast to only one in bacteria.
  9. Dev Cell. 2023 Nov 30. pii: S1534-5807(23)00583-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Inflammation is essential to the disruption of tissue homeostasis and can destabilize the identity of lineage-committed epithelial cells. Here, we employ lineage-traced mouse models, single-cell transcriptomic and chromatin analyses, and CUT&TAG to identify an epigenetic memory of inflammatory injury in the pancreatic acinar cell compartment. Despite resolution of pancreatitis, our data show that acinar cells fail to return to their molecular baseline, with retention of elevated chromatin accessibility and H3K4me1 at metaplasia genes, such that memory represents an incomplete cell fate decision. In vivo, we find this epigenetic memory controls lineage plasticity, with diminished metaplasia in response to a second insult but increased tumorigenesis with an oncogenic Kras mutation. The lowered threshold for oncogenic transformation, in turn, can be restored by blockade of MAPK signaling. Together, we define the chromatin dynamics, molecular encoding, and recall of a prolonged epigenetic memory of inflammatory injury that impacts future responses but remains reversible.
    Keywords:  ATAC-seq; CUT&TAG; cell fate; epigenetic memory; inflammatory injury; lineage plasticity; pancreatic cancer; pancreatitis; single-cell RNA sequencing; tumorigenesis
  10. bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 21. pii: 2023.11.20.567963. [Epub ahead of print]
      Genomic instability and inflammation are distinct hallmarks of aging, but the connection between them is poorly understood. Understanding their interrelationship will help unravel new mechanisms and therapeutic targets of aging and age-associated diseases. Here we report a novel mechanism directly linking genomic instability and inflammation in senescent cells, through a mitochondria-regulated molecular circuit that connects the p53 tumor suppressor and cytoplasmic chromatin fragments (CCF), a driver of inflammation through the cGAS-STING pathway. Activation or inactivation of p53 by genetic and pharmacologic approaches showed that p53 suppresses CCF accumulation and the downstream inflammatory senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), independent of its effects on cell cycle arrest. p53 activation suppressed CCF formation by promoting DNA repair, reflected in maintenance of genomic integrity, particularly in subtelomeric regions, as shown by single cell genome resequencing. Activation of p53 by pharmacological inhibition of MDM2 in old mice decreased features of SASP in liver, indicating a senomorphic role in vivo . Remarkably, mitochondria in senescent cells suppressed p53 activity by promoting CCF formation and thereby restricting ATM-dependent nuclear DNA damage signaling. These data provide evidence for a mitochondria-regulated p53-CCF circuit in senescent cells that controls DNA repair, genome integrity and inflammatory SASP, and is a potential target for senomorphic healthy aging interventions.
  11. Nat Commun. 2023 Dec 04. 14(1): 8011
      The filamentous actin (F-actin) cytoskeleton is a composite material consisting of cortical actin and bundled F-actin stress fibers, which together mediate the mechanical behaviors of the cell, from cell division to cell migration. However, as mechanical forces are typically measured upon transmission to the extracellular matrix, the internal distribution of forces within the cytoskeleton is unknown. Likewise, how distinct F-actin architectures contribute to the generation and transmission of mechanical forces is unclear. Therefore, we have developed a molecular tension sensor that embeds into the F-actin cytoskeleton. Using this sensor, we measure tension within stress fibers and cortical actin, as the cell is subject to uniaxial stretch. We find that the mechanical response, as measured by FRET, depends on the direction of applied stretch relative to the cell's axis of alignment. When the cell is aligned parallel to the direction of the stretch, stress fibers and cortical actin both accumulate tension. By contrast, when aligned perpendicular to the direction of stretch, stress fibers relax tension while the cortex accumulates tension, indicating mechanical anisotropy within the cytoskeleton. We further show that myosin inhibition regulates this anisotropy. Thus, the mechanical anisotropy of the cell and the coordination between distinct F-actin architectures vary and depend upon applied load.
  12. Elife. 2023 Dec 07. pii: RP88658. [Epub ahead of print]12
      Cells are exposed to a wide variety of internal and external stresses. Although many studies have focused on cellular responses to acute and severe stresses, little is known about how cellular systems adapt to sublethal chronic stresses. Using mammalian cells in culture, we discovered that they adapt to chronic mild stresses of up to two weeks, notably proteotoxic stresses such as heat, by increasing their size and translation, thereby scaling the amount of total protein. These adaptations render them more resilient to persistent and subsequent stresses. We demonstrate that Hsf1, well known for its role in acute stress responses, is required for the cell size increase, and that the molecular chaperone Hsp90 is essential for coupling the cell size increase to augmented translation. We term this translational reprogramming the 'rewiring stress response', and propose that this protective process of chronic stress adaptation contributes to the increase in size as cells get older, and that its failure promotes aging.
    Keywords:  aging; cell biology; cytoplasmic density; human; proteostasis; senescence; stress adaptation; translation
  13. Nat Aging. 2023 Dec 06.
      Transient events during development can exert long-lasting effects on organismal lifespan. Here we demonstrate that exposure of Caenorhabditis elegans to reactive oxygen species during development protects against amyloid-induced proteotoxicity later in life. We show that this protection is initiated by the inactivation of the redox-sensitive H3K4me3-depositing COMPASS complex and conferred by a substantial increase in the heat-shock-independent activity of heat shock factor 1 (HSF-1), a longevity factor known to act predominantly during C. elegans development. We show that depletion of HSF-1 leads to marked rearrangements of the organismal lipid landscape and a significant decrease in mitochondrial β-oxidation and that both lipid and metabolic changes contribute to the protective effects of HSF-1 against amyloid toxicity. Together, these findings link developmental changes in the histone landscape, HSF-1 activity and lipid metabolism to protection against age-associated amyloid toxicities later in life.
  14. Cell. 2023 Nov 24. pii: S0092-8674(23)01225-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Embryogenesis necessitates harmonious coordination between embryonic and extraembryonic tissues. Although stem cells of both embryonic and extraembryonic origins have been generated, they are grown in different culture conditions. In this study, utilizing a unified culture condition that activates the FGF, TGF-β, and WNT pathways, we have successfully derived embryonic stem cells (FTW-ESCs), extraembryonic endoderm stem cells (FTW-XENs), and trophoblast stem cells (FTW-TSCs) from the three foundational tissues of mouse and cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) blastocysts. This approach facilitates the co-culture of embryonic and extraembryonic stem cells, revealing a growth inhibition effect exerted by extraembryonic endoderm cells on pluripotent cells, partially through extracellular matrix signaling. Additionally, our cross-species analysis identified both shared and unique transcription factors and pathways regulating FTW-XENs. The embryonic and extraembryonic stem cell co-culture strategy offers promising avenues for developing more faithful embryo models and devising more developmentally pertinent differentiation protocols.
    Keywords:  ECM signaling; embryonic stem cell; extraembryonic endoderm stem cell; lineage crosstalk; monkey; mouse; trophoblast stem cell
  15. Curr Protoc. 2023 Dec;3(12): e947
      The SIMBA (Simultaneous Imaging and Manipulation of genomic loci by Biomolecular Assemblies) system is an innovative CRISPR-based imaging technique that leverages dCas9-SunTag and FRB-mCherry-HP1α, with scFv-FKBP acting as a bridge. This powerful system enables simultaneous visualization and manipulation of genomic loci. The dCas9-SunTag fusion protein allows for precise targeting of specific genomic sites, and the FRB-mCherry-HP1α fusion protein facilitates the condensation of chromatin at the targeted loci. The scFv-FKBP bridge protein links dCas9-SunTag and FRB-mCherry-HP1α, ensuring efficient and specific recruitment of HP1α to the desired genomic loci. This integrated approach allows us to visualize and manipulate genomic regions of interest, opening up new avenues for studying genome organization, gene expression regulation, and chromatin dynamics in living cells. © 2023 The Authors. Current Protocols published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: Cloning of genetic constructs Basic Protocol 2: Transient transfection in mammalian cells and live-cell imaging Basic Protocol 3: Generation of SIMBA-expressing stable cell lines Basic Protocol 4: Manipulation of genomic loci using SIMBA.
    Keywords:  CRISPR/Cas9; HP1α; chromatin modeling; live-cell imaging; locus labeling
  16. Nat Commun. 2023 Dec 06. 14(1): 7844
      Migration of T cells is essential for their ability to mount immune responses. Chemokine-induced T cell migration requires WNK1, a kinase that regulates ion influx into the cell. However, it is not known why ion entry is necessary for T cell movement. Here we show that signaling from the chemokine receptor CCR7 leads to activation of WNK1 and its downstream pathway at the leading edge of migrating CD4+ T cells, resulting in ion influx and water entry by osmosis. We propose that WNK1-induced water entry is required to swell the membrane at the leading edge, generating space into which actin filaments can polymerize, thereby facilitating forward movement of the cell. Given the broad expression of WNK1 pathway proteins, our study suggests that ion and water influx are likely to be essential for migration in many cell types, including leukocytes and metastatic tumor cells.
  17. bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 22. pii: 2023.11.22.568242. [Epub ahead of print]
      Although centrosomes help organize spindles in most cell types, oocytes of most species lack these structures. During acentrosomal spindle assembly in C. elegans oocytes, microtubule minus ends are sorted outwards away from the chromosomes where they form poles, but then these outward forces must be balanced to form a stable bipolar structure. How proper force balance is achieved in these spindles is not known. Here, we have gained insight into this question through studies of ZYG-8, a conserved doublecortin-family kinase; the mammalian homolog of this microtubule-associated protein is upregulated in many cancers and has been implicated in cell division, but the mechanisms by which it functions are poorly understood. Interestingly, we found that ZYG-8 depletion from oocytes resulted in spindles that were over-elongated, suggesting that there was excess outward force following ZYG-8 removal. Experiments with monopolar spindles confirmed this hypothesis and revealed a role for ZYG-8 in regulating the force-generating motor BMK-1/kinesin-5. Importantly, further investigation revealed that kinase activity is required for the function of ZYG-8 in both meiosis and mitosis. Altogether, our results support a model in which ZYG-8 regulates motor-driven forces within the oocyte spindle, thus identifying a new function for a doublecortin-family protein in cell division.